Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Alexander Filipović et al.

Developing a Professional Ethics for Algorithmists

Learning from the Examples of Established Ethics

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
56 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Those who commission, design and use algorithmic systems – algorithmists – have a responsibility to meet these demands. But what might compel them to fulfill their responsibility? We believe that binding professional ethics can prove effective in this regard.

In the study, Alexander Filipovic, Christopher Koska and Claudia Paganini explore the nature of professional ethics in six different occupational areas: medicine, social work, journalism, public relations, advertising and engineering. The authors examine each area to determine what renders their professional ethics successful and identify a total of ten success factors. Success in no way contingent on all ten conditions being met. In fact, the absence of some factors can be compensated for by the presence of others.

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Cover Ethics of algorithms

In the “Ethics of Algorithms” project, we are taking a close look at the consequences of algorithmic decision-making on society. We aim to help inform and advance algorithmic systems that facilitate greater social inclusion. This involves committing to what is best for a society rather than what’s technically possible.